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Source: (consider it) Thread: Why aren't Christians known for their parties?
Gramps49
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Came across this article this morning.

Why is Christianity so boring?

The article is based on one of the most famous parties in the Bible.

How can we apply it now>

[ 25. August 2013, 16:12: Message edited by: Gramps49 ]

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Boogie

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When my son was twelve he had two best friends, a Muslim and a Hindu. They all decided to become Hindu when they grew up as they noticed that Hindus had the best parties by miles!
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Sioni Sais
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We had a staycation with a couple of friends from church. Spent the week at their place (a whole mile from ours), had days out but every evening we'd play cards or mah-jongh and drink wine or cocktails until at least midnight. Our pastor and his wife came along one night so we helped him relax, which he isn't good at.

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Gamaliel
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Odd and geeky as this may sound, when I was on the verge of my evangelical conversion at the age of 19, I was actually quite taken by the Christian parties I attended ...

All ages were involved, young and old, there were silly games and wholesome entertainment. No-one was getting pissed and making a prat of themselves.

It may sound cheesy but I found this very attractive. I discerned a genuine sense of community.

Ok, some of the games and so on I'd now consider naff, but to give credit where it's due, some of the good-little-evangelical parties I attended back then did show evidence of a 'more excellent way ...'

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Stetson
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In the Spire Christian Comics version of the Prodigal Son(the parable referenced in the article), the welcoming party was portrayed as basically just a big banquet, minus any sight of booze.

Whereas the son's wayward years were portrayed pretty much like what you see on the cover, with some boozing and implied one-night stands thrown in.

Just one example, but it's adequate to illustrate that at least some Christians would balk at portraying the faithful as enjoying anything that a typical member of the public would consider to be a good party.

And I say this as a tee-totaller myself.

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Martin60
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I've been to one home party. Apart from a dozen of ours. Where a tiny fraction of those invited from church came. In over 4 years. In a church of 750 people. Apparently it's our fault!

I lie. Two.

[ 25. August 2013, 17:08: Message edited by: Martin PC not & Ship's Biohazard ]

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Uncle Pete

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I dunno, I'm a Christian and I threw a pretty good party a few weeks back. Made sure there was lots of food and drink and sat back and managed to spend time with everyone. Even my great-grand-niece seemed to enjoy herself (the guest range was from 2-90)

I do agree, if I had it over to do again, I'd be Hindu. Their parties rock. Muslims are no slouch, either!

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moonlitdoor
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if you were Hindu, you would have it to do over again !

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leo
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Anglo catholics usually throw good parties - or at least parties where there is loads of booze.

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Albertus
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Yes. And jolly parish lunches at Italian restaurants.

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Ethne Alba
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i can think of one church planting denomination in the uk where an ability to throw a good party is almost a prerequisit
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Chorister

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Our choir parties are legendary. Former choristers travel miles to come back to sing at Christmas but lways make sure they arrive in time for the party a few days before.

However, not everyone likes wild, noisy parties - perhaps Christianity appeals more to those who need to go over to the other side of the Lake to rest.

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Gill H

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Our church is known for its parties and fun events.

When our vicar left we put on a surprise party including a Singalong Lion King, and sang 'Circle of Life' as they came through the door and were given lion headgear.

Last Christmas Day we put on lunch for 40 people - cooked turkey, beef and veggie, and home made desserts. A mix of homeless people, backpackers far from home. and those without family nearby, made up the guests. Hugal and I led some games and a sing song, and everyone had a silly £1 Secret Santa gift.

And to echo Gamaliel, I once attended a party where half were Christians and half weren't. The Christians got right into larking about and playing silly word games, and much laughter ensued. The others clutched their drinks, looked miserable and didn't talk to each other.

The best Christian gatherings I know are fun because people get to that stage of relaxing and enjoying themselves without the need for alcohol (not that alcohol is necessarily absent, but people seem relaxed enough before they even have a drink).

[ 25. August 2013, 20:51: Message edited by: Gill H ]

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Jolly Jape
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Well, perhaps there are too many people around who, like me, find parties to be the nearest thing to hell! Well, perhaps I exaggerate, but certainly, I loathe parties with a rare passion.

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Merchant Trader
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Came across this article this morning.

Why is Christianity so boring?

The article is based on one of the most famous parties in the Bible.

How can we apply it now>

"How can we apply it now?" - Party!

What is stopping you?

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... formerly of Muscovy, Lombardy & the Low Countries; travelling through diverse trading stations in the New and Olde Worlds

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Merchant Trader
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taking a few minutes to be more reflective

IMHO: A good party has:
Good conversation
Good wine
Good conversation
Good food
Some entertainment
Good conversation
Some communal singing and/or games
More wine
More conversation in the early hours of the morning.

The keys to this is to help people relax, be inclusive, stimulate good conversation and only when folk feel relaxed launch community activity.

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... formerly of Muscovy, Lombardy & the Low Countries; travelling through diverse trading stations in the New and Olde Worlds

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the giant cheeseburger
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Why is Christianity boring?

Movements become religions, religions become denominations.

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Jolly Jape:
Well, perhaps there are too many people around who, like me, find parties to be the nearest thing to hell! Well, perhaps I exaggerate, but certainly, I loathe parties with a rare passion.

I adore parties and host at least eight a year right here at home. 95% of the people who come are Church people.

I loathe 'parties' where the music is so loud you can't hear anyone speak.

Most wedding evening celebrations I've been to lately have been like that. So boring! [Snore]

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Palimpsest
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It may have something about losing the recipe for turning water into wine.
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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
When my son was twelve he had two best friends, a Muslim and a Hindu. They all decided to become Hindu when they grew up as they noticed that Hindus had the best parties by miles!

I think the issue here is that if I throw a party, there isn't a clear dividing line in my head that tells me whether I throw it for religious or cultural reasons. Consequently, you can't really say whether a Hindu throws big parties because they're Hindu or because they're (probably) Indian (at least in cultural origin).

Conversely, I'm not sure how you'd identify a specifically Christian form of celebration in a society that's largely Christian in origin anyway. I mean the implication is that there should be some form of identifiable 'Christian' party that could be contrasted with a secular party, but it's not obvious what that would be given that Christian and secular culture are so similar.

[ 26. August 2013, 09:06: Message edited by: Ricardus ]

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mousethief

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We throw a bang-up party every year on New Year's Day. Lots of people come, both Christians and otherwise, and in general people who don't like our kind of party don't come back the next year. As a result it's pretty lively and a lot of fun. And I get to trounce all comers in vocabulary-based games like Boggle and Scrabble (does that sound boring? then you've never played word games the way we do!).

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chive

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I hate parties. I hate organised fun. I hate having to be sociable. Maybe I'm quite glad Christianity isn't known for it's parties!!

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
Why is Christianity boring?

Movements become religions, religions become denominations.

The moment it gets organised, the movement ceases. People are so concerned about staying on the right course that you have ten people steering for every one rowing.

Parties are like that. Successful ones for more than about eight people are bloody hard work. We've managed it once in the last ten years by discarding the tired old bring'n'share formula for food and drink, catering it all ourselves and telling people when it starts and ends.

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Chorister

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I have been to plenty of boring parties in my time. And, while I was there, have found myself thinking 'I'd rather be in church'.

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SvitlanaV2
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I recently heard worship at a particular black-led Pentecostal church being described as being like a party. The man I was talking to said he'd occasionally drop by with his friend at midday when things were warming up, and then he'd leave an hour later while things were still going on. He wasn't a member of this church, but his friend was.

Some of the Alpha course shared meals must feel a bit like dinner parties sometimes? I suppose it depends partly on the company, the surroundings, etc. Then there's the demographics - the average 19 year old isn't going to be impressed by a party dominated by a bunch of churchy people who are decades older than they are.

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Chorister

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Anyone who thinks that church people don't know how to party has never been to a rural Harvest Festival. That cider's rough, man.

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Galloping Granny
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Two thoughts came to mind:
Our much-loved minister had announced that she was called to move on. The farewell party was such an occasion that you had to wonder why we didn't do it more often. Yes, a sad occasion but filled with love and fun. Food and drink; skits and songs (some composed in her honour); meetings with old and new friends. We do know how to party, and we don't need a lot of alcohol to lubricate an event – though the days of no wine on church property are long gone.
And a glimpse of the distant past: as the varsity ball wound down the teetotal SCM were charging up and down the cloisters singing La Marseillaise (don't ask me why) while many of the rest had sunk into sad little heaps and passed out. I once invited a non-religious friend to an SCM weekend and he came with some trepidation having heard that we played party games – whether that was true or not we certainly had fun.

GG

What about the wedding in Cana? And Jesus' reputation as a glutton and a drunkard?

[ 26. August 2013, 21:40: Message edited by: Galloping Granny ]

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Mere Nick
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I get to trounce all comers in vocabulary-based games like Boggle and Scrabble (does that sound boring? then you've never played word games the way we do!).

Peggy Hill likes Boggle. Nuff said.

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Merchant Trader
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Then there's the demographics - the average 19 year old isn't going to be impressed by a party dominated by a bunch of churchy people who are decades older than they are.

Just finished clearing up after last nights do. Dominated by those of us in their late 50s and early 60s but the younger generation seemed to enjoy it and chose to spend the evening with us. But 5 courses, good wines to match, fun conversation, speeches and eventually breaking out the guitar and singing into the early hours - what was there not to like?

Christians can have fun but I thing the issue is when we are visibly "churchy".

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seekingsister
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This sounds cultural rather than religious. I grew up in a heavily Italian-American area and their annual church-sponsored carnivals were a must-attend event. I also know of some African churches in the UK whose conferences apparently have a secondary party going on outside for young Christian singles to see and be seen.
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la vie en rouge
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Speaking as a Christian who loves to party… the main obstacle to partying is other Christians.

To wit: this summer my church hosted a flippin' awesome black tie party. The idea was to rock up in tuxedo / gala dress and spend the evening like a movie star with champagne (in moderation, we are still Christians after all [Biased] ) and dancing. It was a fantastic night - everyone looked amazing and had a fantastic time (and though I say it myself, my boyfriend and I were the best dressed people there [Razz] ).

People from other churches saw the pictures on facebook and were *apalled*. We got some pretty vicious kickback about superficial unseemly Christians bla bla… So yeah, the biggest problem for those of us who party is our po-faced correligionists. [Disappointed]

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Niteowl

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quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
Speaking as a Christian who loves to party… the main obstacle to partying is other Christians.

To wit: this summer my church hosted a flippin' awesome black tie party. The idea was to rock up in tuxedo / gala dress and spend the evening like a movie star with champagne (in moderation, we are still Christians after all [Biased] ) and dancing. It was a fantastic night - everyone looked amazing and had a fantastic time (and though I say it myself, my boyfriend and I were the best dressed people there [Razz] ).

People from other churches saw the pictures on facebook and were *apalled*. We got some pretty vicious kickback about superficial unseemly Christians bla bla… So yeah, the biggest problem for those of us who party is our po-faced correligionists. [Disappointed]

There are many in the church who love to point out everyone else's "sin". Especially where other Christians are concerned.

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Chorister

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Cripes, surely nobody needs to actually listen to such killjoys!

As well as the choir parties (already mentioned) the vicar and churchwardens throw a party every year for the choir and bellringers. Lots of good food and drink and afterwards - the entertainment. Year 1 - the choir, year 2 - the bellringers, year 3 - the clergy/readers. Then the cycle begins again. As you would expect, it's a great chance to let our hair down and the jokes / sketches are definitely not suitable for upright church folk. But that's OK because they don't know about it!

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Plique-à-jour
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The boring but accurate answer is: because our parties are secular. We aren't generally living in the kind of enclaves where everyone at our social gatherings would be of the same religion.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Niteowl:
quote:
Originally posted by la vie en rouge:
Speaking as a Christian who loves to party… the main obstacle to partying is other Christians.

To wit: this summer my church hosted a flippin' awesome black tie party. The idea was to rock up in tuxedo / gala dress and spend the evening like a movie star with champagne (in moderation, we are still Christians after all [Biased] ) and dancing. It was a fantastic night - everyone looked amazing and had a fantastic time (and though I say it myself, my boyfriend and I were the best dressed people there [Razz] ).

People from other churches saw the pictures on facebook and were *apalled*. We got some pretty vicious kickback about superficial unseemly Christians bla bla… So yeah, the biggest problem for those of us who party is our po-faced correligionists. [Disappointed]

There are many in the church who love to point out everyone else's "sin". Especially where other Christians are concerned.
..and they haven't been invited.

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LutheranChik
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I don't know, Gramps...back in the day when I was at Michigan State University the students involved in Lutheran campus ministry held some of the best, most enjoyable theme parties I ever attended -- always mit viel Bier, of course, and other cold beverages, great music, fairly good chow for student parties and lots of genuine merriment.

Two of my friends had a Rastafarian party -- they covered their walls with Jamaican flags and Bob Marley posters, created amusing props like giant faux reefers (the real thing not being the mood-altering substance of choice in our crowd) that they creatively strewed around their apartment. They themselves wore Rasta wigs and hats and periodically broke into their own reggae singing. And then a trio of my other churchy friends threw a bordello party, decorating their apartment like an old-skool sporting house and greeting guests in Mae West attire.

My Campus Crusade and Navigators neighbors, of course, didn't appreciate the good-natured youthful fun of these events; my religion-averse or -indifferent acquaintances, whose weekend entertainment tended to be the usual dormitory or frat house trashcan parties, seemed genuinely impressed by our inventiveness, as well as by the idea that Christians could actually drink beer.

Of course, many of us had grow up in German-American enclaves where people knew how to thraow parties.

Which reminds me of my father, a veteran of many happy, well-attended, well-fed-and-refreshed German and Polish weddings, taking my mother and my tweenaged self to the wedding of his Baptist carpool-mate. This was his and my first Baptist wedding. We found ourselves sitting uncomfortably in a music-less church basement with small slices of wedding cake and paper cups of Kool-Aid. We'd been warned by my mother, who'd spent time in a Baptist youth group as a teen, had warned us that we shouldn't expect the sort of wedding extravaganzas regularly put on by our church people, but my father's social discomfort and confusion were visible. And both he and I were pretty disappointed that we didn't even get a proper meal for showing up.

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Albertus
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Reminds me of what I've been told about my in-laws' Methodist wedding in the 1960s- not, I'm sure, that the reception was as joyless as that one seems to have been. But apprently there was a choice of sherry or ginger wine (always belived, for some reason, to be non-alcoholic) on arrival at the reception, and everyone held back to see what the Minister would do. When he took a glass of sherry there was, it seems, a very audible universal sigh of relief and people then felt free to follow suit!

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seekingsister
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
Two of my friends had a Rastafarian party -- they covered their walls with Jamaican flags and Bob Marley posters, created amusing props like giant faux reefers (the real thing not being the mood-altering substance of choice in our crowd) that they creatively strewed around their apartment. They themselves wore Rasta wigs and hats and periodically broke into their own reggae singing.

You know Rastafarianism is a religion, right?

A Christian party based on a different religion strikes me as slightly odd.

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Penny S
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The school I taught at used to host a small offshoot of the Christadelphians - somewhere I have a copy of a document with a sort of cladistics diagram showing where schism had followed schism with only one path through to their own correct state. One weekend they had an extra letting for their Christmas party. I happened to be in the office overlooking the hall briefly.

The entire church (about twenty), of all ages, were sitting around in a circle of chairs, the ladies wearing their Sunday hats* with their best clothes, apparently playing a version of pass the parcel. The music was hymn singing, accompanied by the piano. Though curious, I did not stay looking enough to see exactly what happened when the music stopped - though it would not be out of character for the person selected to have to answer a question based on their Bible study.

Whatever they were having, it was not, in any way, fun.

*I never knew where they got their hats. They weren't like any I ever saw in the shops. They weren't fun, either.

PS One of the schisms was about the very subject of women's head coverings. PS

[ 28. August 2013, 16:52: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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quetzalcoatl
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I know, I know. When the music stops, you have to remove one item of clothing.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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LutheranChik
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Seekingsister: For some cultural context: Imagine Midwestern college kids, during a time when reggae music was popular among young adults and the general public outside of Jamaican neighborhoods in big cities were just starting to be exposed to reggae and Rastafarian culture, and where standup comics were incorporating "rasta man" characters into their routines. The great music and the laid-back ganja-smoking vibe around it, not Rastafarianism, was what my friends were thinking about.

By the way, I'm also aware that prostitution is a criminal activity that can exploit vulnerable women, but I don't see my other friends' party as anything more than a very white-bread parody of the "sporting life" about as innocuous as a Mae West/W.C. Fields film or "Gunsmoke's" Miss Kitty.

The parties we go to now generally involve people sitting around on sofas ostensibly watching TV with our lapfuls of snacks and middle-aged-health-issue rations of beverages, talking about boring adult things...so perhaps we've been morally improved over time.

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Stetson
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Tangent...

quote:
By the way, I'm also aware that prostitution is a criminal activity that can exploit vulnerable women, but I don't see my other friends' party as anything more than a very white-bread parody of the "sporting life" about as innocuous as a Mae West/W.C. Fields film or "Gunsmoke's" Miss Kitty.


A women's shelter in Manitoba recently held a burlesque-themed fundraiser. This garnered criticism from the deputy premier, an aboriginal Canadian, who lambasted the hosts as "do-good white people".

His comments prompted a complaint to the human-rights commission, who in Canada have the power to investigate hate-speech. For the sake of the commission's credibility, I really hope they don't agree to hear this one.

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Pomona
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Catholics (and Anglo-Catholics to an extent) are pretty good at partying, and I'd guess that the Orthodox are too. Historically black churches, too. Seems to be WASPs letting the side down again!

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Wulfstan
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Why aren't Christians known for their parties?
Because as anyone whose been to a PCC meeting knows: the first rule of Fight Club is that you don't talk about Fight Club....

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seekingsister
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
Seekingsister: For some cultural context: Imagine Midwestern college kids, during a time when reggae music was popular among young adults and the general public outside of Jamaican neighborhoods in big cities were just starting to be exposed to reggae and Rastafarian culture, and where standup comics were incorporating "rasta man" characters into their routines. The great music and the laid-back ganja-smoking vibe around it, not Rastafarianism, was what my friends were thinking about.


OK seems like it was a Jamaica-themed party, not a Rastafarian one.

I've had the unfortunate experience of being proselytized to by a Rastafarian so I imagine I'm more familiar with it than you are. They worship the former king of Ethiopia as God, among other things. So I'd be uncomfortable using that as an example of a "good Christian party!"

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LutheranChik
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Thinking about it, I realize that those of you in the UK probably interact, and have for quite awhile interacted with persons of Jamaican descent much more than most of us in the US outside of certain large cities with significant Jamaican neighborhoods.

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Jude
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Why do I feel guilty whenever I have an alcoholic drink? Could it be that drinking alcoholic beverage is a mortal sin? Unlikely, since Catholics like a drink or two. Or that my mother was a Methodist? Although Methodists are now allowed to enjoy alcohol as much as anyone else, the prohibition runs deep and I still feel that I cannot partake of "strong drink" when out at a party with my parents.

The parties I have been to with "Ch-ristians" have been alcohol-free and punctuated by embarrassing games. Not my scene at all. If that is the sort of party we're going to have in Heaven, I think I'll give it a miss.

Not that all parties hosted by Christians that I've been to have been so boring. I recently started going to a church where members host parties which continue with drinking until well after midnight! How sinful, some of you may say!

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Hairy Biker
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Came across this article this morning.

Why is Christianity so boring?

The article is based on one of the most famous parties in the Bible.

How can we apply it now>

I think this is a complete misrepresentation of what Jesus was saying in his parable. He wasn't saying that getting pissed and playing loud music until the neighbours bang on the walls is the reward you get in heaven. He was saying the complete opposite!

The prodigal insults his father and takes off with his early inheritance precisely to indulge in what we generally refer to as "partying". Once he realises that this is a road to ruin, he returns to his family, where his father says "enough of that, let's have a nice family barbecue and forget all about it."

It's nothing to do with parties. We do well to steer clear of them.

<edited for typos>

[ 30. August 2013, 03:20: Message edited by: Hairy Biker ]

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there [are] four important things in life: religion, love, art and science. At their best, they’re all just tools to help you find a path through the darkness. None of them really work that well, but they help.
Damien Hirst

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Jude:
Why do I feel guilty whenever I have an alcoholic drink? Could it be that drinking alcoholic beverage is a mortal sin? Unlikely, since Catholics like a drink or two. Or that my mother was a Methodist? Although Methodists are now allowed to enjoy alcohol as much as anyone else, the prohibition runs deep and I still feel that I cannot partake of "strong drink" when out at a party with my parents.

The parties I have been to with "Ch-ristians" have been alcohol-free and punctuated by embarrassing games. Not my scene at all. If that is the sort of party we're going to have in Heaven, I think I'll give it a miss.

Not that all parties hosted by Christians that I've been to have been so boring. I recently started going to a church where members host parties which continue with drinking until well after midnight! How sinful, some of you may say!

I'm a bit confused. You don't like teetotal Christian parties, and you feel guilty about drinking alcohol, but you DO like Christian parties where there's a lot of alcohol? How does that work?
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malik3000
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quote:
Originally posted by seekingsister:
You know Rastafarianism is a religion, right?

A Christian party based on a different religion strikes me as slightly odd.

Tangent: As someone who has a little familiarity with Rastafari, it is first of all a spiritual movement, and only for some (OK many but far from all) is it a religion in the textbook definition of the term. While many Rastas specifically consider Haile Selassie to be Jesus returned to earth, by no means do all Rastas adhere to this belief. It is possible to be an orthodox Christian and be a Rasta. For that matter one can be an orthodox Muslim and be a Rasta.

I consider myself a Rasta, znd have much love for the Rastas who have been in my life. Among it's other appeals to me is its emphasis on love, on the One God as a God of love, and on liberation, both personal and societal.

When i was diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition 15 years ago, a scary time, my Rasta spirituality and Rasta sisters and brothers were definitely a source of strength to me at that time -- as was my Catholic Christian spirituality. I still consider myself a Rasta although these days I am mostly involved in other aspects of my spirituality.

As a spiritual movement, it is not required to smoke ganja, nor have dreadlocks. The reggae group Morgan Heritage has a song "You don't have to be dread to be rasta".

Many rastas turned to more orthodox expressions of Christianity when Haile Selassie visited Jamaica, and made that he was a human, and not someone to be worshiped as God. Bob Marley was baptised into the Ethiopian Orthodox church (which caused a rift between him and Peter Tosh) and had an Ethiopian Orthodox funeral. (OK, i know the Ethiopian Orthodox and Copts are not as orthodox as Chalcedonians would like, but they certainly are not other than a Christian body.)

Re the rasta party, I might have a bit of discomfort with white kids wearing "rasta wigs" -- that could seem to me to have something of a minstrel-show aspect.

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God = love.
Otherwise, things are not just black or white.

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